Mowen impressed with Pocock return
February 8, 2014
Ben Mowen claims a lineout during a dominant trial victory by the Brumbies © Getty Images
Brumbies captain Ben Mowen has lauded the return of Wallabies star flanker David Pocock, saying it's taken just two games for his form to return to international standard. Pocock showed no signs of the knee injury that cruelled his 2013 season during the Brumbies' 67-0 trial thrashing of the ACT XV in Canberra on Saturday.
"It was hard not to keep an eye on him (during the game) because he was turning over so much ball," Mowen said. "I thought he was back to where he's been at international standard." Even more impressive is the speed at which Pocock's confidence has returned after 11 months on the sidelines, as the mental barriers can be as difficult to overcome as the physical barriers.
"I know myself when I came back from a knee recon, it usually takes you five or six games to get going," Mowen said. "The positive sign for him is that he's back to where he was - that's really exciting. He made a couple of good offloads, some really good carries over the gain line, and if you pair that up with his base game, which is a very high standard, you're looking at a very complete player."
With the Brumbies just two weeks away from their Super Rugby season opener against the Queensland Reds, the No.7's return to form sets up a salivating battle against flanker Liam Gill - set to provide a true indicator on exactly where Pocock's form is at.
"I always try and avoid making it a No.7 on No.7 battle," Pocock said. "But (Gill) has been great and putting pressure on Michael (Hooper) for that spot over the Wallabies' season, so it will be a big challenge."
In the meantime, Pocock says he'll continue to blow out the cobwebs.
"It's good to get a bit more rhythm and a bit more work in defence and attack," he said. "You can do as much training as you want, but getting that match fitness is different. It's good to be out there again."